Friday, 13 February 2015

SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER (Guest Post by Jessie Rex)

So You Want to be a Writer?

Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”
—Enid Bagnold

You glance over at the table across the room and although you cannot hear the words the couple are saying, you can clearly imagine the conversation. You notice the way she touches her ear as she speaks, the way he looks into her eyes.

When you go anywhere your senses come alive to the noises that you hear, the smells, and the sights, taking it all in. You take mental notes. This is something you do automatically, even when you are trying to focus on something else.

Back home there is a stack of one sentence notes laying on the table. Beside your bed in a drawer are multiple pens, a note pad and torn pieces of paper with scribbled thoughts on them. Scattered throughout your home are journals in various colors and sizes.

Your desk has transformed into a mini mountain that is overgrown with notebooks, hardback books stacked and some open, face-down, highlighters in a rainbow of colors, and a laptop bordered with sticky notes.

When someone asks you what your hobby is, casually say you like to write.
So you want to be a writer?

Brace yourself. If your life is similar to what I just described, you do not ‘want to be’ a writer. You ARE a writer. Why do we find it difficult to tell someone we are a writer? What are the qualifications to be considered a writer?

There are times I have shared that I am a writer and you could see the smirk or hear the scoff in the voice of the listener. Just because some cannot imagine you as an author unless you’ve sold as many copies as J.K. Rowling or other big names in books, does not dictate your authenticity. Don’t fall into this delusion. You are your own style and you don’t need to sell a million copies of anything to be a true author. Besides, these type of encounters with skeptics are wonderful practice for your upcoming-if not already-critics. Critics are a positive force in a writer’s world. We learn, we grow, and we can gain an imaginative vocabulary thanks to critics.

I want you to know that just because you’ve only written a few articles here and there, perhaps worked on a blog, or write ads for newspapers, if you enjoy it, you’re actually writing, no matter how short or small it seems to you, you are a writer. We can be our own toughest critic. We compare our work to someone else. Guess what? They are on their own journey. You have your own unique way of putting something into words. If you dream of publication, then that’s fantastic! If you want to actually be published, you must put those dreams into action. You have to actually write. Not just talk about it, dream about it, or jot down notes. You must write! You must do your homework and get connections, seek assistance with editing, research places to publish, spread the word, take workshops, and ask a lot of questions. It takes action to get published.

So go home and gather up all those notes and journals. Organize and outline. Take workshops and read, read, and do more reading. Send out questions and apply those answers to your daily life and your writing.

All that work is part of your life, but you don’t mind at all. Why? Because you are a writer. When you ‘are’ something, you are persistent, committed, and you believe. Do not let the outside discourage you into living something that is not your joy, because writing is the answer to everything.

Jessie Rex
Certified Master Life Coach